Good everyday lens for Digital Rebel -- kit lens, 17-40mm f/4L, or...?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Mike Kozlowski, Dec 29, 2003.

  1. I'm looking at the Digital Rebel (300D), and wondering what would be a
    good versatile-everyday lens for it. I'd want something that go from
    mild wide-angle to mild-telephoto, not too big, not too terribly
    expensive, and the higher the quality (both optically and
    mechanically) the better.

    Obviously the kit lens is one choice, but I have some reservations
    about that (which I'll expand on in a second), so I was also looking
    at the Canon 17-40mm f/4L lens. Does anyone have any experience with
    these two lenses in relation to each other (or particular comments
    about one or the other)? Are there other lenses I should be

    (Also, are there any pages comparing the kit lens to other lenses,
    preferably with images? I haven't seen any...)

    The way I see it, the pros and cons break down like so:

    Kit lens:
    * Very inexpensive ($100 over the bare body)
    * Good zoom range (28-80mm equivalent)
    * Okay optics(?)

    * EF-S mount means that -- unless Canon's current sensor size becomes
    a standard for them, and the EF-S mount with it (which seems
    unlikely to me, particularly since they haven't made any other EF-S
    lenses) -- the lens will be utterly useless if I ever buy a new
    body, which is not terribly unlikely in the digital world.
    * Un-great optics(?)
    * Mechanical cheapness(?)

    17-40mm f/4L lens:
    * Optically very good
    * Mechnically very good (USM drive)
    * EF mount means it's useful on hypothetical future bodies

    * Moderately pricy, at $699
    * Narrower zoom range (27-64mm equivalent)

    So, apart from questions about relative quality, the other important
    factor for me is the likely future of lens mount formats. If
    everything's going to move to EF-S (with EF left as a sort of legacy
    mount), the kit lens looks more attractive. If EF-S is a dead-end, it
    looks less so. And if EF in general is going to be replaced by some
    new, non-compatible format, then both are dead-ends, which makes the
    cheap one more relatively attractive. Any thoughts on the likelihood
    of these futures? How long has the EF format been used?
    Mike Kozlowski, Dec 29, 2003
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  2. Well, sure. But if I can _avoid_ doing so, I'm all for it. I'm
    basically resigned to losing value on digital stuff in the near-term,
    but I don't like throwing money away that I don't have to throw away.

    If I can spend an extra $500 now, and get a lens that will be both a)
    significantly better than what I would otherwise have gotten, and b)
    useful over a much longer timeframe, that strikes me as not a bad idea
    at all.
    Mike Kozlowski, Dec 29, 2003
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  3. Mike Kozlowski

    Phil Guest

    Go to the dpreview website and the 300D forum there. You will find much
    info on the camera, the kit lens -- and many samples.

    Overall the kit lens seems to be highly regarded; I like mine.

    Not in the same league with L glass, but $700 is not "moderately" pricy
    to me

    Phil, Dec 29, 2003
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